Making the Most out of Your Blog’s Content
Getting a website up and running with good SEO is a process that requires time, patience, and a good deal of work. Making sure that you are up to date on Google’s best practices, and that your website is attractive are all things that your business, and those you are working with to build your website must be diligent and aware of to ensure that the website is performing as best as it can be.
An area that can often go neglected in this process is blogs. While there are millions upon millions of blog websites exist, their importance to a website is one that cannot be understated. As a place to provide continued updates on your business, as well as providing a way to gain more metadata and relevance for keywords, links, and other valuable content for website search engine optimization.
Yet, when it comes to formatting and writing blogs, there are a lot of pitfalls and mistakes that an organization can fall into that can hinder their blogs from performing as best they can. Making sure that your blog content is properly formatted and optimized can create another pillar of SEO generating content.
Formatting Your Blog for SEO
Breaking down how to format blog content follows a general basic formula. While it is not wholly necessary to follow this formula to a T, knowing these things can help you with ensuring that your blogs are poised to take advantage of Google’s search algorithm.
It is also important to remember that, no matter how much SEO formatting that you do, that your content is still the focus of your blogs. Formatting guides and best optimization practices will change. But good content is good content no matter what.
With that in mind lets take a look at some of the things that can make a good blog great.
Making Headway With Headings
If you have seen any blog, no doubt you’ve seen headers. Heck in reading this or any of our other blogs on the site you’ve seen them. They’re the big bolded text that separates sections and act kind of like transitions from topic to topic.
Headers are a lot more than just transitory breaks though. They are also a place where you can boost SEO value and keywords. Using headers to your advantage can give emphasis to the keywords and phrases used. This is especially beneficial if you are using the space to present a question that the following text then answers.
For people using WordPress for their blogging, there are several types of headers that are easily utilized. The most important ones to take into account are:
- H1: This is the title of your blog; you should have a maximum of one H1 header for your blog, and it should encapsulate what the blog is about or its central question in 60 characters or less.
- H2: These are usually the headers for major sections and are great place to fill out for more target keywords for a topic. On average you want to make sure that your blog has two H2’s, though for longer blogs it is acceptable to include more
- H4: These sub-headers are often best used between H2’s to create little sub sections to create breaks to focus in on certain ideas. Typically, you want to try and have four H4’s per blog post.
There are other header formats, but as time has gone on, these have proven to be the most common and provide the greatest benefit. As mentioned before, its not critical to have all of these headers all the time but keeping them in mind can provide an added boost to SEO and performance.
A big reason why headers are so important is that it is basically waving a flag to Google to say “this is important!” So, when a search query is made, these sections can stand out. That is why it is especially beneficial to use headers to ask questions that are answered in the article. As most queries for search are questions, this can help boost rankings or highlight a section for a featured snippet.
People like to get their information quickly and succinctly. Often times they are looking for answers or how to do certain things and want that information directly delivered.
This is where bullet points come in. Using them, they signal that your content is exactly that. Breaking down the details into quick, bite sized chunks that are easy to read and consume gets people what they want in a satisfying manner.
Where this really comes into play is in places like instructions, recipes, or answers to questions that might have multiple parts.
By utilizing bullet points to answer questions, your content has a higher chance of being selected for a featured snippet, which puts it at the top of SERP. They also break up the page and the content, giving them a higher chance to be read.
This makes bullet points a great place for keyphrases and keywords as their enhanced focus means they are more likely to be seen, and thus can work in a greater capacity for you.
Engaging Your Reader With Content
Quality is always going to be king, but quantity is a prince in the family line. The perfect length for content has varied over time, but these days having a minimum of 750 words is a good starting point. It is better to go greater though. Even though people often want to get their information quick, people like to learn things.
Focusing your content on things that you can write genuinely at length about is something should make it easier to create a blog that pushes to 750 words and beyond. Some of the best articles get up to 2000 words, which has been proven to be a length to shoot for.
Now you might be reasonably asking, why? To which there are a few answers.
The first is that more space means that you have a great opportunity to write about and explain your topic. People want to know that the person who is giving them the information they are searching for is credible. If you can talk about things in thorough detail (which usually means also doing so at some length), then you are better presenting your information. This includes showing how you come to conclusions or presenting relevant information to back up whatever claims or queries you are making.
Understanding Audience Engagement
Writing great, informative content is good and well, but it also has to be readable. More than that it must grab an audience make them want to read. There are many ways to achieve that but remembering a few tips and tricks can help better attract readers to your content and keep them coming back for more.
One of the best ways to do this is with AIDA.
You may be asking yourself, what is AIDA? It is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. Breaking that down, AIDA works like so:
Quite simple and what it says on the tin. You have to grab the reader’s attention. Calling back to the headlines and titles, this is where that comes in. Writing flashy calls to action or attention-grabbing lines of copy.
Even if you are ranking highly in SERP, you want to stand out from the competition and grab your reader’s attention so that no matter what the competition looks like, they are coming to you first. This can be done by using evocative, actionable
So, you’ve got their attention, now you need to keep it. Again, how you’re using your headlines and content space can make for an increased interest to actually want to engage with your content. This can include catchy subtitles, intriguing invitations to continue onward with reading the content, or a quick, clear explanation of what the headline promises and what the content entails. There are many examples of this, but the idea is that once you get them where you want them, you find a way to keep them there.
Next on the content journey is to ensure that you keep the reader wanting more and wanting to further interact with what you’re making. While we mentioned bullet points already, they are an important part of driving desire for more. Bullet points, on top of being a great point for optimization, keyphrases, and formatting for featured snippets, have been shown to be better for reader retention and engagement. Why? Well to break things down:
- Bullet points make it easy to tell when separate points on a related topic are being broken up.
- Typically bullet points are relegated to shorter phrases breaking down complex topics.
- Bullet points are easy to understand by readers who may be quickly skimming through content.
- They are also easy to share, making the information valuable for people looking to get and spread an answer among their team, or social group.
Bullet points can be swapped out with numbers as well. Typically, its best to keep to short, 3-7 point lists for maximum digestion. Too short and the reader may instead wonder why they needed the bullet points at all, and too long you will run the risk of losing their interest entirely.
The main point, however, is that you want the reader to want to keep reading your content.
Getting people to share your content around, click on a link to your store, or whatever it is can be a major component of any kind of content. Getting people to act upon those wants though can be a bit tricky.
Calls to action are important parts to getting conversions and click throughs to where you want people’s eyes (and browsers) to look. Doing so can be tricky, however. A poor usage of calls to action can come off as preachy or annoying.
What you want, is to instead get the reader engaged enough that they want to click that button, fill out that form, or whatever it is you are trying to get the reader to do. There are many ways to assist with this. If you’re running an e-commerce page, a discount or coupon can be a good incentive, or for help pages, offering a bit of assistance at no charge can be a great way to get someone in the door.
There are many ways to entice and engage people with a call to action, and it is often the case that doing so will differ greatly from blog to blog, and SEO to SEO. The important thing is to make sure that they fit within your image and monitoring them to make sure they are providing an actual benefit to your content.
These are just a few of the ways that you can work to improve and expand the reach of your content. By implementing them and monitoring their effects, you can be assured that you’re bettering their chances of ranking highly.
Your blogs should be a place that you are using to better boost your brand and SEO. Make sure that you have the right path ahead. If you have doubts, do some research, or reach out to us for further assistance as to how you can make your blogs work better for you!